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2013 GMC Yukon XL 1500

Overview
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2013 GMC Yukon XL 1500 Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.5

Whether you want an SUV that's big and powerful, flashy and full-featured, or is a relatively fuel-efficient hybrid, the 2013 GMC Yukon has a good chance of fitting your needs and style. Variety is aplenty in this full-size SUV that is a sibling to the Tahoe and Suburban from GM stablemate Chevrolet. This 3-row SUV comes in regular and extended lengths, with rear- (2WD) or 4-wheel drive (4WD), and with a variety of engine options, including a hybrid setup that enables this rig to achieve up to 23 mpg. In high-end Denali form, it can give a Cadillac Escalade a run for its money. If your needs are more pragmatic and involve towing up to 9,600 pounds, that can be accomplished with the three-quarter-ton 2500 model.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you regularly need to carry eight or nine people and their gear – and don't want to be seen in a minivan – the GMC easily accommodates passengers and cargo. Those who need serious towing ability will find plenty of it even in lower-trim models of the 2013 Yukon.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you don't need to tow heavy loads and would like an SUV that's more fuel-efficient and easier to maneuver, a vehicle such as the 2013 GMC Acadia or 2013 Honda Pilot would make a more sensible choice.

What's New for 2013

The 2013 GMC Yukon carries over unchanged except for a new exterior color (Champagne Silver Metallic) and the ability to use powertrain grade braking in normal transmission mode to reduce brake wear when going downhill.

Driving the Yukon XL 1500

Driving Impressions Though their size can make these vehicles unwieldy to maneuver in tight spots, the 2013 GMC Yukon has a confident and civilized ride once on the road. The three V8...

engines offered (5.3-liter in the Yukon, 6.0-liter in the Yukon XL and 6.2-liter in the Denali) offer decent-to-good passing power for such a large vehicle. In hybrid form, these SUVs team the 6.0-liter V8 engine with a pair of battery-powered electric motors to attain better fuel economy, something for which the other versions are not known. Even with the increased fuel economy, hybrid versions can still tow at least 6,000 pounds. Overall, the Yukon has a surprisingly comfortable, compliant ride. Gasoline models shift smoothly with their 6-speed automatic transmission, while hybrid versions use an electrically variable version and automatic start/stop function to conserve fuel.

ACTIVE FUEL MANAGEMENT
While SUVs and hyper-miling don't exactly go hand in hand, the Yukon does what it can to eke out a few more miles per gallon with GM's Active Fuel Management. The 5.3-liter and 6.2-liter engines use this technology to essentially turn their 8-cylinder engines into 4-cylinder engines when less power is needed. Fewer running cylinders means less fuel consumed.

BLIND SPOT MONITORING
With the proliferation of smaller cars on the road, drivers of big vehicles such as the Yukon can only benefit from extra safety features. This one – standard on Denali and optional on SLT models – uses radar beams to keep high-tech eyes focused on the spots that yours may miss.

2013 GMC Yukon XL 1500 Details
Interior

Technically, the 2013 GMC Yukon can carry up to nine people across three rows of seats. But buyers who opt for this setup will likely be in the minority, as customers often choose the more comfortable setup of twin bucket seats up front. This also leaves room for a big center console between those seats to store items large and small. Indeed, this big vehicle's exterior dimensions and boxy shape give it the kind of space that could command rent in New York City. Even standard-length models have a good amount of cargo space behind their third-row seats. If you regularly need to carry adults in the third row, the XL is the better choice.

Exterior

The 2013 GMC Yukon definitely appears imposing. Park it next to a Yukon XL model, though, and watch how quickly the regular-length version disappears. At 222.4 inches long, the XL adds 20 inches and, from bow to stern, rivals 1970s' land barges like the Cadillac Fleetwood and Lincoln Continental. Denali versions add bling to the Yukon's outer box with features like a honeycomb grille, power-retractable side steps and 20-inch wheels. Hybrid models are slightly altered with a lowered front, and aluminum hood and liftgate for better aerodynamics and less weight. Denali versions of the hybrid ride on massive, 22-inch chrome wheels.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

A base 2013 Yukon SLE comes with power front seats, tri-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth wireless connectivity, and AM/FM/CD stereo system with USB port and nine Bose speakers. SLT models add leather seats, power-adjustable pedals, rearview camera and rear-parking sensor. Denali models up the ante with a larger and more powerful V8 engine, AutoRide suspension for a more comfortable ride, heated and cooled front seats, 10-speaker sound system, and blind-zone monitoring. Hybrid versions, like Denali models, have navigation standard along with other features found in higher-trim Yukon SLT models.

Optional Equipment

Many of the features found on the top-line 2013 GMC Yukon Denali can also be added to SLE and SLT versions as options. Among them are navigation systems and heated and cooled front seats. Other options include 4-wheel-drive, power moonroof, 20- or 22-inch wheels, rear-seat DVD entertainment system, heavy-duty trailering package, blind-spot monitoring system, chrome grille, and assist steps for easier entry into this tall SUV.

Under the Hood

The 2013 GMC Yukon and Yukon XL SLE and SLT models are powered by a 5.3-liter V8 engine that makes 320 horsepower and that can also run on an ethanol blend. Yukon XL 2500 models are heavy-duty, three-quarter-ton vehicles that use a 6.0-liter V8 engine good for 352 horsepower. Yukon Denali models use an even bigger, 6.2-liter V8 that makes 403 horsepower. Yukon Hybrid models are fitted with a 6.0-liter V8 paired to a 2-mode system that employs two 60-kilowatt electric motors. All models except the hybrid use a 6-speed automatic transmission, while the hybrid has an electrically variable transmission (EVT).

5.3-liter V8 FlexFuel
320 horsepower @ 5,400 rpm
326 horsepower @ 5,300 rpm (E85)
335 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm
348 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm (E85)
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/21 mpg (gasoline), 11/16 mpg (E85)

6.0-liter V8 FlexFuel
352 horsepower @ 5,400 rpm
382 lb-ft of torque @ 4,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 10/16 mpg (2WD), 10/15 mpg (4WD)

6.2-liter V8 FlexFuel
403 horsepower @ 5,700 rpm
417 lb-ft of torque @ 4,300 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/18 mpg (2WD, gasoline), 10/15 mpg (2WD, E85), 13/18 mpg (4WD, gasoline), 10/14 mpg (4WD, E85)

6.0-liter V8 hybrid
332 horsepower @ 5,100 rpm
367 lb-ft of torque @ 4,100 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/23 mpg

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2013 GMC Yukon XL Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.8
Out of 10

Based on 422 Ratings for the 2007 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.7/10
    Quality
    8.9/10
  • Reliability
    9.1/10
    Performance
    9.1/10
  • Comfort
    9.3/10
    Styling
    9.2/10

Best vehicle I have ever owned in 50 years.

By on Friday, October 24, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 40,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "great utility, supreme comfort, visibility"

Cons: "gas mileage,"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"8 years and 40000 miles and the vehicle has never been in for repairs - just oil changes, tires and a battery. Extremely comfortable for long drives, more power then you would ever need. Only down side is gas mileage and tough to park in tight spaces."

28 people out of 54 found this review helpful

Great vehicle

By on Monday, October 13, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 38,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Very comfortable vehicle. Lots of power, but I still am able to get 14 mpg in town and up to 18 mpg on the road."

12 people out of 27 found this review helpful

Best SUV I have ever owned

By on Monday, October 13, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 118,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "comfort, reliability, safety, luxury,easy to drive"

Cons: "gas mileage and premium unleaded"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This is the most comfortable and reliable vehicle I have ever owned. I was the second owner and bought it with just under 50,000 miles on it. We took it to Colorado for a family vacation and couldn't slide on the ice, even when we wanted to. It is so safe and comfortable for our whole family of 5. We pulled our 26 foot boat with it and have had it packed to the top and it still has plenty of power. It handles and turns like a smaller vehicle and was a great learner car for my Daughter, since she just got her license. The only downside is the gas mileage and that is takes premium unleaded fuel."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Rides the smoothest of any SUV

By on Friday, October 03, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 86,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Smooth ride and design"

Cons: "my 3rd row seats weren't power folded"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I have owned 3 Yukon Denali's. I owned a Ford Expedition and a Lincoln Navigator before the three Denali's and they don't hold a candle to it. The ride is so smooth and I am getting a fourth Denali except this one will be the XL."

10 people out of 17 found this review helpful

Great truck for large families on the go!

By on Tuesday, September 30, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 123,500

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Big, comfortable, loaded with extras, looks great."

Cons: "looks like you're part of a Secret Service detail"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

Enjoy driving your family around in style!

"2008 Yukón XL with all the bells & whistles. This is a phenomenal car for large families that are always on the go. It comes complete with 4 buckets seats, and a 3rd row that comfortably seats 3 more, DVD, Navigation, Black on Black with chrome grill, alloy wheels, looks and drives great."

7 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Enjoy driving your family around in style!

Best Vehicle I've Ever Owned

By on Saturday, September 13, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "comfortable, luxurious, peppy, fun 2 drive,reliabl"

Cons: "gas mileage, lack of functional cup holders"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I want every car that I own from now on to be a GMC Yukon Denali. It has been the most reliable car I've owned. It handles great and I feel extremely safe driving in it. It is also incredibly comfortable. I'm a heated seat junkie and love how there are separate options for just back heaters and for back and seat heaters. The car also has a lot of power and tows my boat easily. The only thing Im not crazy about is that gas mileage, but it only does marginally worse than my Acadia did for so much extra power and room. The trunk is very small with the 3rd row seats in, but the seats are easy to remove and put back in."

24 people out of 48 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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